For the record

first_img 160Want local news?Sign up for the Localist and stay informed Something went wrong. Please try again.subscribeCongratulations! You’re all set! A story Thursday incorrectly reported who would be eligible for higher tenant relocation fees under a plan approved by the City Council. In fact, renters who have lived in their units at least five years will receive the higher fees if they are evicted because of a condo conversion.last_img

DODGERS NOTEBOOK Furcal hurting with bum back

first_imgControl problems Right-hander Esteban Loaiza is averaging 2.6 walks per nine innings over the course of his 13 seasons in the majors. But in his past two starts, his second and third since the Dodgers claimed him off waivers from Oakland on Aug. 29, he has uncharacteristically walked 11 batters in eight innings, only one of which was intentional. What that suggests isn’t entirely clear. “It could be any of several things,” pitching coach Rick Honeycutt said. “For him, he isn’t a guy who has historically been wild. But he is kind of a spot pitcher who is basically missing his spots. That could be a matter of trying to do too much or trying to be a little bit too fine.” Loaiza will throw his regular session today and is scheduled to start Friday night at Arizona. As Little pointed out, there really are no alternatives. But the Dodgers are operating with a 16-man pitching staff for September, so Loaiza will be on a short leash. “That goes without saying,” Little said. “But that isn’t just for him. At this point in the season, that is pretty much everyone.” Honeycutt wondered aloud whether Loaiza might be going through a simple dead-arm period, a plausible theory given that Loaiza has made five starts since missing most of the season while recovering from knee surgery. Five starts into spring training is about the point when a lot of pitchers struggle with the same problem after not pitching all winter. Tough afternoon Right-hander Chad Billingsley suffered his first loss in more than a month in the opener, when he allowed just four hits over 51/3 innings. Although Billingsley was perfect through the first two innings and faced the minimum through three, he later said he never felt comfortable at any point. “I didn’t feel like I had my good fastball,” Billingsley said. “I was just trying to make good, quality pitches down in the zone and trying to get ground balls, but it just didn’t happen. I just went out there and battled to try to get outs as quickly as possible, but they laid off some good pitches and made me get deep in counts.” Playoff tickets Fans wishing to order National League Division Series single-game tickets for possible games at Dodger Stadium may do so only by registering at www.dodgers.com by Sept. 24. [email protected] local news?Sign up for the Localist and stay informed Something went wrong. Please try again.subscribeCongratulations! You’re all set! By Tony Jackson STAFF WRITER DENVER – Shortstop Rafael Furcal left the opening game of Tuesday’s day-night doubleheader because of tightness in his lower back. He could not play in the second game and is listed as day-to-day. The injury also dealt another blow to the Dodgers’ fading playoff hopes. “It is that,” Manager Grady Little said. “He is a guy who has played through a lot of aches and pains, but this just got too bad for him there late in the game.” It also was merely the latest blow to Furcal, who has battled lingering pain all season in the left ankle he severely sprained in spring training. That injury isn’t expected to fully heal until after the season, when Furcal has time to rest it. Furcal has no history of back problems. Little said Furcal initially hurt himself sliding into a base over the weekend. Olmedo Saenz batted for Furcal in the seventh inning and hit his first home run since his walk-off shot against Toronto on June 8, providing the Dodgers’ only run in a 3-1 loss. Wilson Valdez played the rest of the game at shortstop, and Ramon Martinez started the nightcap at short. It marked just the 13th time this season that Furcal hasn’t been in the starting lineup, and nine of those came at the beginning of the season while Furcal was still on the disabled list with the ankle sprain. last_img read more

Fulham ‘to beat Newcastle and Everton to signing of duo’

first_imgFulham are poised to beat Newcastle and Everton to the signings of two highly-rated wingers from Dutch side Heerenveen, The Sun report.Luciano Narsingh, 21, is tipped to be included in Holland’s Euro 2012 squad, while Moroccan international Oussama Assaidi, 23, is also regarded as a top prospect.As well as Everton and Newcastle, PSV Eindhoven, Ajax and mega-rich Russian outfit Anzhi Makhachkala are said to have been interested in them.But they are believed to be on their way to Craven Cottage in a deal worth £10m after Heerenveen accepted an offer.The Sun also say Chelsea are set to make Didier Drogba a final offer to stay at Stamford Bridge.Drogba’s future is in doubt.The 34-year-old striker’s contract is up at the end of the season and he has been tipped to move to China after rejecting a one-year deal.But Chelsea are said to be planning to offer him the option of a further 12 months if he delivers next season.A club source is quoted as saying: “Everyone is keen to keep Didier but the owner won’t be held to ransom.“He has to be realistic with his demands if he wants to continue playing at the highest level.”It is claimed that even if Drogba agrees to stay Chelsea will try to sign Napoli striker Edinson Cavani or Real Madrid’s Gonzalo Higuain.The Daily Mirror and Daily Express both suggest that Pep Guardiola has rejected a fresh approach from Chelsea.Guardiola, who is leaving Barcelona, is said to have been offered £12m-a-year to take over.It’s believed the Spaniard’s snub could open the door for Roberto Di Matteo to be given the job at the end of the season, while Germany boss Joachim Loew has also been touted as a contender.Follow West London Sport on TwitterFind us on Facebooklast_img read more

Art helps children paint a better future

first_imgRoom 13 is an art enrichment programme for children from disadvantaged backgrounds that was set up to improve their school results and help to produce more well-rounded pupils. (Image: www.facebook.com/Room13SA)• Keshia SerageBrand CoordinatorTBWA+27 11 322 [email protected] Jane CookSplashes of paint, an array of paint brushes and splotchy aprons, poetry books and a dress up corner: these elements help to make Room 13 a glorious success.Room 13 is an art enrichment programme for children from disadvantaged backgrounds that was set up to improve their school results and help to produce more well-rounded pupils. Room 13 is a creative space that allows freedom of expression and the opportunity for each child to have a better understanding of themselves and the world around them. Its mission is to be “a place to develop and empower children to become the best that they can be”.Run by schoolchildren for schoolchildren, a Room 13 studio is supported by an artist in residence at a school. The pupils manage the studio as a business, selling their designs and art work, and electing their own management team each year. The artist in residence is their employee, not their teacher. Room 13 seeks to unlock children’s imagination by developing their artistic expression across various art forms, in particular visual arts and literature. At the same time, it seeks to teach children essential business skills as they run the studio as their own business and take full responsibility for the sustainability of the project.“[It is a] place where our imagination runs free, a place for us to go to after school and express our creativity through painting, drawing, drama, poetry and storytelling.” The presence of art in the life of a child, it is explained, can be used for therapeutic devices as well as benefit their “cognitive, social and motor abilities”.Room 13 in SowetoSt Martins de Porres High School in Orlando West, Soweto is one of those institutions that has incorporated art in its curriculum in an attempt to change the lives of its pupils. Nkosana Ngobese, the resident artist, explained to The New Age newspaper: “Not only does art help pupils express themselves, it also helps with self-esteem issues and self-confidence issues as well.”Ngobese added: “One of my biggest challenges is making sure that they create artwork that is compelling, tells a story and is sellable.”The space aims to develop the art, life and entrepreneurial skills of South Africa’s disadvantaged youth. Art is seen as not just as a medium of self-expression, but as a means to develop self-esteem and sense of purpose. The unique approach of Room 13 – a studio at a facility run as a business by the schoolchildren themselves – is a sentiment that speaks to the artists.Research has found that art education, such as painting, drawing, sculpting, singing, storytelling, poetry, drama and so on, strengthens problem-solving and critical thinking skills, explains Room 13. It is mooted that the experience of making decisions and choices in the course of creating carries over into other parts of life.“When children are encouraged to express themselves and take risks in creating art, they develop a sense of innovation that will be important in their adult lives. These studies further indicate that there is a direct correlation between art and other areas of achievement, demonstrating that young people who participate regularly in the arts are four times more like to be recognised for academic achievement than children who do not participate.”Unfortunately, with pressing socio-economic needs facing many schools in South Africa, art education has come to be viewed as a luxury and consequently has been dropped from the school curriculum in most disadvantaged schools.Scottish startOriginating in Caol Primary School, near Fort William, in Scotland, about 12 years ago, the first Room 13 studio ran as a business, raising funds to buy art materials and employ a professional artist in residence to work with the schoolchildren. Room 13 has since grown to over 10 studios in the United Kingdom, and now, with the addition of South Africa, Nepal, India, United States, Canada, Mexico, Turkey, Austria, China, Holland, it is fast becoming a colourful, worldwide network of studios.A firm believer in getting involved where they can, Reg Lascaris and John Hunt, who cofounded advertising agency TBWA Hunt Lascaris in South Africa helped to establish Room 13 in the country. It’s a joint venture between the agency and the Nelson Mandela Children’s Fund, which enables underprivileged schools to teach art. “Hopefully this year we’ll open another two or three classes. Wherever we’ve had a Room 13, the results [have improved] at the school,” says Lascaris in Get It magazine.Room 13 was introduced to South Africa in 2005, on the initiative of TBWA Worldwide. The agency approached Room 13 for help in implementing its vision for a worldwide school of creativity. TBWA Hunt Lascaris, which is based in Johannesburg, grasped the opportunity, and the project got under way initially with two studios – one in Sapebuso Primary School in Soweto, and one in Mmulakgoro Intermediary School in Botshabelo. There are now 16 Room 13s in disadvantages schools across the country.There are certain criteria schools must meet for a Room 13 to be started:• They must be historically disadvantaged or needy schools;• They must convince the organisation they can passionately pursue, and be capable of achieving, long-term sustainability; and,• There must be an urban/rural balance.Funders may request that they work within specified schools/areas.Fund-raisingRoom 13 has its own anthem, Rockin’ for Room 13 (Rocking all over the World). The idea is that “imagination is everything” and that art education is vital to the development of the child.In November 2013, high profile business leaders, chief executives and company directors put on a performance at the Barnyard Theatre to raise funds to help sustain Room 13. They included Ben Kruger, the chief executive of Standard Bank; Peter Matlare, the chief executive of Tiger Brands; Lascaris, the president of TBWA Africa Middle East; and Clem Sunter, the scenario planner.Speaking to News24, Sunter said: “It was amazing seeing these guys belting out Mustang Sally, American Pie, If I Were a Rich Man and many other hits of the last century. The audience were rocking in the aisle and swaying with torches and didn’t mind the odd off-key note. We should go on tour! Room 13 is a fabulous initiative where a separate room for the arts is built at disadvantaged schools with money raised from a variety of donors.”As the co-ordinating body of the initiative, TBWA Hunt Lascaris supports the development of the studios, sourcing sponsorship, and providing resources and opportunities for networking and income generation. It makes a continuous effort to raise the profile of Room 13 and host events, such as the annual lekgotla, to enhance the experience of the pupils and artists involved.“We encounter daily experiences, patterns and relationships which reveal a great deal about who we are as interacting humans. Socio-economic and societal issues play a factor in the development of brains and, ultimately, behaviour. Disadvantaged children clearly do not benefit from their place in society. The arts can also awaken their senses and make the child more aware of the surrounding material and spiritual world,” says Room 13.last_img read more

Bundle Monster 6pc Cute Handmade Grosgrain Ribbon Bows Girl Hair Headbands – for the young trendsetter

first_imgThese arrived genuinely promptly. They are genuinely nicely manufactured, and my four yr old loves them. They are significantly admired, and tons of people have questioned me wherever they occur from.I purchased these for my niece as she loves to put on girly attire, and they match all of her attire or jazz up a uncomplicated outfit charming. I really suggest for tiny ladies :-).Features of Bundle Monster 6pc Cute Handmade Grosgrain Ribbon Bows Girl Hair Headbands, SET A – Assorted Mix Lot SetIncludes 6 different stylish headband designs.These handmade ribbon headbands are perfect for all seasons/all outfits.Great for accessorizing and adding extra flair to your outfit.Headbands are suitable for children 18 months and up.Bundle Monster is a registered trademark of Remi Collections LLC and is exclusively distributed by Bundle Monster. Bundle Monster trademark is protected by Trademark Law.I would of love these when i was escalating up. Bit strike with a 6 year and fourteen month previous.I purchased these headbands for my six yr old daughter, and she enjoys them. She finds them incredibly cozy to have on, loves the colours and selection of styles. I truly feel that they are outstanding quality and extremely excellent worth for funds.Acquired as a christmas current for my daughter. I am really impressed and just know she will enjoy these. I might even have to put on just one with her. Cute and great worth for dollars. Will deffo final longer than low-priced plastic ones.Attractive hairbands good quality.My niece adore the hairbands she is 3 yrs aged suits really nicely.I have acquired these headbands as my daughter likes to brighten up her university uniform with one thing distinct. We are the two extremely delighted with this invest in as it fits flawlessly (she is five) and they look fantastic as well.Great for my 4 year outdated niece and arrived quite speedily.These are brilliantly produced, durable and will come in six stunning types. The a little thicker bands seem to be to remain on a bit superior than the thinner bands. But that’s the very same with any hair bands. The only downside according to her is she are unable to wear them all. Bright bold colors, will stand out in any crowd. I would definitely advocate these.They arrived incredibly quick wonderful to use would buy once more my daughter enjoys them far too they are pretty wonderful to use and glance very good.My niece liked this gift, she has long unruely curly hair but doesnt want to minimize it. As with a lot of small children today she has very a broad wardrobe this reward allows her to maintain her hair off her face and seem stylish at the same time.My daughter & niece ❤️ these so great and the high-quality is terrific.My daughter loves these hair bands. Had heaps of compliments as they are so lovely. Arrived instantly which stunned me as they come from abroad.A very good purchase for any minor girl. My granddaughters appreciate them and so do i.Our grand daughter is presently escalating out her fringe, moreover we often want to see her lovely deal with, so hair bands are demanded. They want to be purchased in amount as they are shed in the auto, at university, in the backyard and at granny’s. This set is charming, colourful, beautiful and comfy to use. They suit properly, frame the facial area and hold again the wispy bits. This box of six designed a nicely acquired gift – separated out they could be get together bag substance, likely residence presents say. The types are suited for numerous outfits, it can be pleasurable to match them to weekend clothes, to costume up for birthday bashes. Grosgrain sounds like some thing mr. Selfridge would have marketed or perhaps delivered to a seamstress in jane austen’s day. Good to consider it is nevertheless becoming made.Wonderful quality will defo be shopping for extra.Very happy customerJolly, jaunty, bonny bandsBeautifully made!cute and excellent valuefor the young trendsetterlast_img read more

Green Building Myth: Green Homes are Ugly

first_imgFor the last several weeks I’ve been describing a number of common myths about green building. This week I’ll address the myth that green homes are ugly — that incorporating solar and other green features somehow compromises aesthetics.I was active in the solar energy movement back in the late 1970s and early ’80s, when, indeed, a whole lot of ugly solar homes were built. Back then, solar energy was often captured by appending large fiberglass-glazed solar panels onto roofs at odd angles or adding stark glass walls to the south side of homes, without regard to proportions and design sensibilities. There were solar geodesic domes and yurts and bizarre, high-tech structures that looked as if they had just landed from outer space. Meanwhile, the “superinsulated” houses of that era were austere — often simple boxes with very small windows and very little appeal.There are certainly oddball homes still being built today, but there is no reason that green homes have to stand out. Indeed, there are thousands of examples of very attractive houses being built or renovated today that one would be hard-pressed to immediately identify as particularly energy-efficient or green.While passive solar homes 30 years ago were often way overglazed (with far too much south-facing glass), a more balanced approach today usually involves a much better-insulated building envelope so less window area is required to provide a significant fraction of solar heat. Advanced window glazings today provide a good balance between solar heat gain and resistance to heat flow (R-value). This allows windows — the right types of windows — to be installed where significant areas of glass don’t make sense. In other words, better glazings allow our designs to be more flexible without sacrificing energy performance nearly as much as was once the case.Solar panels, we now know, work pretty well even if not facing exactly south or installed at an optimal pitch; we can install them flat on a roof that faces up to 45 degrees off true south and get reasonable performance out of them. In this way, those panels can be installed on a house with relatively little impact on design. Efficiency of solar-electric (photovoltaic) panels has also improved, so that a somewhat smaller area is required to produce a given amount of electricity.Other aspects of green homes — including materials used in construction — provide a full range of aesthetic choices for any taste. It used to be that if you wanted low-VOC paint your color options were limited, or if you wanted natural linoleum flooring you were limited to a grandmotherly-looking few paisley patterns. There are far more options available now.Beyond the design flexibility offered by technology advances and a larger palette of product choices to meet style preferences, we might be seeing a new aesthetic emerging. It used to be that bigger houses were seen as better by most people. Some are still in that camp, but a lot of people now prefer more compact designs. Architect Sarah Susanka helped to advance this shifting design aesthetic through her 1998 book The Not So Big House, which eloquently made the case that smaller, more carefully designed houses were more satisfying to live in and at least as attractive.Just as a Hummer is an “ugly” vehicle in my mind — because of the arrogant resource consumption it represents — I now feel the same about 4,000 square-foot suburban McMansions with their three-car attached garages and surrounded by irrigated Chem-Lawns. Knowing what I know about environmental impacts of the resource consumption required to build and operate those houses and the environmental impacts of those uniform, lush green lawns, those places just aren’t attractive to me any more.What I find much more appealing is a compact, 1,400-square-foot home with a simple roofline that won’t result in ice dams or drainage problems, with an enticing porch that bring homeowners outside, with solar panels cleanly integrated into the roof, and with a kitchen garden out front. This is the “timeless” design that I believe we will still find attractive in 20 or 30 years when those monster homes have become white elephants, many abandoned because of their exorbitant operating costs. Who knows, we may even come to appreciate multifamily and attached homes.I invite you to share comments on this blog.Alex Wilson is the executive editor of Environmental Building News and founder of BuildingGreen, LLC. To keep up with his latest articles and musings, you can sign up for his Twitter feeds.last_img read more

On Training and Development with Dave Stein – Episode 26

first_imgPodcast: Play in new window | Download (11.8MB)Subscribe: Apple Podcasts | Android | Email | Google Podcasts | RSSToday, we hear from Dave Stein about the skills necessary for any sales team and manager. Dave has spent his career researching sales training programs. Early on, he discovered that companies were investing millions of dollars in sales training and seeing no return, or a negative return, on that investment. Dave took on the task of tackling this problem. Listen in today as he shares how he evaluates, compares and contrasts sales training programs. His insight will send you in the right direction to train your sales teams, with a return on investment like you’ve never seen. Get In the Arena with Dave Stein, today!Infuse any selling approach from a business savvy perspectiveClick To TweetWhere sales training goes wrongDave Stein discovered many reasons why sales training goes wrong, but if there were one single reason it would be fixed by now. There are a range of mistakes being made, starting with the inability of sales leaders and organizations to simply hire the right people. There are currently plenty of people unsuited for the jobs they are in. Another huge problem we hear about today is the lack of clearly defining requirements. Start with your customer: what does it take to sell to them? From there, decipher their buying trends, history, methods, and preferences. When you know your goal, you can communicate requirements to your teams. The gap between what the salesperson can do and what the customer needs is the sweet spot for sales training. Listen in to today’s episode and find your sweet spot. The DNA of a good sales manager and teamA good sales manager knows how to leverage their experiences to create value for someone else. If you want your sales performance to improve, listen in to Dave Stein’s findings in the trends of hiring. Your sales team needs to be able to talk to the customer about value, in the customer’s terms.  What will your team do to help your customer meet their financial and business plan? To be more successful, effective, and efficient your sales team needs to be able to answer those questions. If you do not develop your own team in knowing the answers to those questions, you will struggle. Today’s episode is an opportunity to amplify your impact that you won’t want to miss.Where does sales training go wrong?Click To TweetA business savvy perspectiveWant to learn how to infuse any selling approach from a business savvy perspective? Dave Stein has worked with many companies, selling a lot of stuff, the right way. How do they sustain high volume business? Time to get savvy! This is an unleveraged component to sales effectiveness that Dave has discovered makes a giant difference in your businesses lifespan and growth. Get In the Arena today and start approaching each opportunity with a business savvy perspective. Don’t get left behind in social sellingSocial selling is not just about having a blog, or having a presence on the various markets. Social selling is a guide to professionally engaging with your customers. It is a platform for creating relationships and connecting with customers. It is time to take ownership of your marketing approach. On this episode, we receive training from Dave on how to set up policies and procedures for social selling. This is a scene that should have clear cut policies to utilize social selling in the right way. Otherwise, you might find one of your go-getter salespeople digging the company’s grave with one mistake on Twitter. Tune in today and cultivate the value social selling can have for you! Social selling: Don’t get left behind, with Dave SteinClick To TweetOutline of this great episode Introduction and welcoming Dave Stein. Where does sales training tend to go wrong? Hire your staff with your customer in mind. The DNA, makeup, and mindset of a successful businessperson. Consultative Selling, by Mack Hanan. New rules for social selling. Opportunities and lessons from the economy tank. Creating and capturing value. How you can connect with Dave SteinResources & Links mentioned in this episodeDave on Twitter @davesteiDave’s current website:  http://davestein.bizDave’s blog on ESResearchDave Stein on LinkedInBook Mentioned0814416179 The theme song “Into the Arena” is written and produced by Chris Sernel. You can find it on SoundcloudConnect with AnthonyWebsite: www.TheSalesBlog.comYoutube: www.Youtube.com/IannarinoFacebook: https://www.facebook.com/iannarinoTwitter: https://twitter.com/iannarinoGoogle Plus: https://plus.google.com/+SAnthonyIannarinoLinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/in/iannarinoTweets you can use to share this episodeLeverage your experiences to create valueClick To TweetWhat does it take to sell to your customer? ~ Dave SteinClick To TweetSubscribe toIn the ArenaApple PodcastsGoogle PodcastsAndroidby EmailRSSOr subscribe with your favorite app by using the address belowlast_img read more

20 days agoKrylia Sovetov chief Shashkov ‘happy’ for Sobolev over Man Utd interest

first_imgKrylia Sovetov chief Shashkov ‘happy’ for Sobolev over Man Utd interestby Paul Vegas20 days agoSend to a friendShare the loveKrylia Sovetov general secretary Vitaly Shashkov is “happy” for Aleksandr Sobolev over interest from Manchester United.The young striker has taken the Russian Premier League by storm this season and has just earned a first call-up to the senior national team squad. Sobolev has been named as a replacement for Lokomotiv striker Fedor Smolov, who has withdrawn from selection due to health problems.The 22 year-old Sobolev wins his maiden call-up to the Russia squad on the back of an impressive 10 goals in 12 Premier League games. His double on the weekend in Krylia Sovetov’s 2-0 defeat of Sochi saw Sobolev leapfrog Eldor Shomurodov to become the league’s current leading goalscorer. Rostov forward Shomurodov sits on nine goals.Such form has seen Sobolev linked with Manchester United in the English press, with it stated the struggling Premier League giants have had scouts watch his exploits.The news has reached Krylia Sovetov, where Shashkov was quick to react when speaking with local outlet RBC. “Well, how can I confirm such things? This is the English press, there are no official approaches to the club. But if so, I’m happy for the guy,” said Shashkov.”The guy is growing, progressing, madly in love with football. The rest I can’t say anything, let’s not inflate.”It’s better not to comment on such things, I don’t want this to become a growing rumour.”- updated October 7 TagsTransfersAbout the authorPaul VegasShare the loveHave your saylast_img read more

Globe Shipholding CCBL Sign Sale Leaseback for Tanker Duo

first_imgzoomIllustration. Image Courtesy: Pexels under CC0 Creative Commons license Globe Shipholding has agreed a USD 132.8 million sale and leaseback transaction for two tankers with CCB Financial Leasing.The vessels were acquired from and chartered back to two subsidiaries of Globe Shipholding, which maintain a fleet of crude carrier tankers managed by Almi Tankers.CCBL’s transaction with Globe represents the first completed sale and leaseback of VLCCs in the Chinese leasing community.The financing was drawn by Globe under the sale and eight-year capital lease back transaction which was put to various uses including the refinancing of certain bank loans secured on the two tankers.last_img

Byron Buxton Is Teasing Twins Fans Again

Peter BourjosLAA311232.548.285.262 Francisco MejiaSD231131.541.309.232 Buxton is tearing it up this springMLB players by difference in weighted on-base average (wOBA) between 2019 preseason Marcel projections and spring training performance Cristhian AdamesCHC271536.533.286.247 Jose PirelaSD291531.562.303.258 wOBA Byron BuxtonMIN251130.579.297+.282 That 282-point difference in wOBA would imply a 17-point increase over projected during the regular season, good for a .314 mark when applied to Buxton’s on-base projection. That’s essentially the same wOBA Buxton had during his breakout 2017 campaign — a number that still wasn’t quite league average but was good enough to combine with his stellar defense to make him worth 4.3 wins above replacement (WAR),3Using an average of the metrics found at Baseball-Reference.com and FanGraphs. as opposed to the -0.4 number he produced last season. And for a Twins team that we currently project to win 84 games with a 37 percent chance of making the playoffs, even incremental improvements from a key player like Buxton could pay massive dividends in terms of postseason odds. My former colleague Rob Arthur estimated that, in the era of two wild cards, an 86-win team would generally increase its playoff probability by about 10 to 15 percentage points over an 84-win one. (The mid-80s win range is basically the steepest area for adding playoff odds with an extra win.)Now, to pump the brakes a little on Buxton’s spring: 30 plate appearances is a very small sample, and most of them have come against sub-AAA quality pitchers, according to Baseball-Reference.com’s estimation. Buxton currently has a batting average on balls in play of .368, much higher than his regular-season career average of .320. His biggest action items as a hitter — plate patience and strike-zone judgment — have shown some signs of life this spring, but he’ll have to sustain them all season to convince skeptics that his skills have truly improved. And Minnesota can only hope those spring homers are merely a sign that Buxton will be an average power hitter again (like in 2017) rather than the guy who didn’t hit a single home run in 90 MLB at-bats last season.4He did hit four homers on assignment at Triple-A Rochester last year.It really does just comes down to health and hitting for Buxton — defensively, on a per-inning basis, he was just as great last year as in 2017; he was also the fastest player in baseball. If Buxton can recapture a version of his 2017 production at the plate, it would be very good for the Twins in their quest to return to the American League Division Series for the first time since 2010. Minnesota added some impact free agents over the offseason (Marwin Gonzalez, Nelson Cruz, Blake Parker), while the division-favorite Cleveland Indians spent the winter shopping around their stars and generally resting on their laurels. Maybe the Twins are still longshots to truly knock the Indians off of their three-year perch as AL Central champs, but a healthy, star-caliber 2019 season from Buxton would make that task a lot easier. Greg AllenCLE261028.532.302.230 Lewis BrinsonMIA241334.517.274.243 Domingo SantanaSEA261028.575.344.231 Chance SiscoBAL241029.560.304.256 Minimum 25 spring plate appearances for players who have already made their regular-season MLB debuts. Stats are through Friday, March 15.Source: Baseball-Reference.com Brandon LoweTB241032.560.321.240 The Minnesota Twins were one of the best stories of the 2017 MLB season: Coming off a 59-win campaign in 2016, they won 85 games and made the playoffs seemingly out of nowhere. Minnesota even spotted itself an early three-run lead against the Yankees in the American League wild-card game (before promptly giving it away in the bottom of the first and ultimately losing). With one of baseball’s youngest lineups, this seemed like a team on the rise, and its best all-around player — 23-year-old center fielder Byron Buxton — had a lot to do with that, putting together a breakout season of his own.By the same token, when Buxton faltered in 2018, so did the Twins. In an injury-plagued lost season, Buxton managed just 94 plate appearances and graded as below replacement level, according to whichever metric you choose to consult. Minnesota, in turn, dipped from 85 wins to 78 and wasn’t really in the playoff picture after the All-Star break. Buxton wasn’t the only Twin to suffer a miserable 2018 decline,1Third baseman Miguel Sano, pitcher Ervin Santana and even franchise-fixture second baseman Brian Dozier — who was traded to the Dodgers at the deadline — all come to mind. but it is fair to say his absence played as big a role in Minnesota’s downfall as anything else.This spring, Buxton and the Twins are looking to recapture the spirit of 2017 — and the early returns are encouraging. Last week, the former No. 1 prospect in all of baseball hit what was already his fourth home run of spring training:It’s been part of a tear that has Buxton looking like the best hitter in baseball during the spring so far. Although spring training results are easy to scoff at, they aren’t completely devoid of meaning — and that’s something the Twins will hang on to if it means there’s a chance Buxton rebounds and helps them close the gap in the AL Central.According to my research from a few years ago, massive spring outlier performances do carry some predictive value going forward. It just takes a lot of improvement to signal real breakout potential: You need a weighted on-base average (wOBA) in the spring 17 points above projected — using the simple-yet-effective Marcel projection system — just to predict a 1-point increase in wOBA (relative to projection) during the regular season. So for most players, they’ll never hit well enough in the spring to move the needle of their season expectations very much either way.But Buxton is hitting so well that it might actually be a much-needed sign of hope for his performance this season. When we compare players’ spring wOBA with their preseason Marcel projections, no player2Minimum 25 plate appearances. has exceeded expectations more than the Twins’ center fielder: PlayerTeamAgeGamesPASPRINGProjectedDiff read more